I don’t think the Ragewing Emblem can ever really escape the fact that it’s a bad item/augment. The best thing we can do is to ‘mitigate the low-roll’. Meaning, when you inevitably do run into a situation where you’re forced to play around it or the games give you one, you need to know how to make the best of the situation.
I happened to fall down the rabbit hole of trying to get it to work and wanted to share my findings with a classic deep dive. First let’s get a breakdown of the emblem itself to get a clear idea of what we’re working with.
The Ragewing Emblem Breakdown:
Convert mana to rage; attacks generate 15 rage, but do not gain any rage from taking damage. After casting an ability, enrage for 4 seconds: gaining 30% bonus attack speed but can’t gain rage.
Gain bonus stats when enraged:
- 3 Ragewings: +50% AS and +25% omnivamp
- 6 Ragewings: +135% AS and +50% omnivamp
- 9 Ragewings: +250% AS and +75% omnivamp
Innate abilities in a trait are effects that take place even without ANY synergies filled. For instance Assassins will always jump to the back, Cavaliers will always charge and Swiftshots have will always have a +2 hex range. What’s commonly forgotten are that Ragewings also have an innate ability with a bit more layers to it.
To simplify it we can look at it as if it’s a ‘1 Ragewing’ trait bonus:
- +5 mana per hit, no mana from taking damage.
- ‘Enrage’ after casting.
- Enrage: +30% AS for 4 secs (no mana)
Everything you gain from further climbing the trait tree (3,6,9) only adds to the ‘Enrage’ part only providing more AS and omnivamp as you progress. If these stats aren’t relevant to the single Ragewing unit you have, don’t play any other Ragewings.
What makes the Ragewing Emblem so bad?
The Ragewing emblem is looked down upon by most of the community as a nearly useless emblem with harsh penalties for the few niche buffs it provides. It’s also not just public opinion. The data reveals it to be atrocious in all categories, both in item and augment form, no matter when you take it. There are just too many factors hindering the success of this item. Not to mention half the units in the Ragewing tree are trait bots and the fact that the emblem is literally a debuff on several units.
The biggest glaring issue is that having an extra emblem or heart does nothing to make a regular Ragewing board stronger. For example, you really want to play all 3 Ragewing units for Guild Xayah (Shen, Xayah, Hecarim) as they are integral to the comp and trying to hit 6 Ragewings is never worth it unless you have a Shyvanna, due to the quality of units you have to play.
The one upside is only real in Swain Reroll and Sett Reroll comps where having an emblem or heart allows you to drop a Ragewing unit to play a better unit or hit a synergy interval 1 level earlier. It’s too complex to flex in other comps and hardly ever worth the effort.
Mitigating the Low-Roll
There are three main ways to ‘mitigate the lowroll’.
- The most common way: Using it replace one unneeded Ragewing unit to play a stronger board
- Knowing the early game holders so you’re not exactly down an item and in relation all the possible comps/lines along with it
- Going for the 1st by knowing all the super niche and rare cases where it can go from one of the worst items/augments to your uncontested win condition
We’re skipping the 1st point until the end because it’s how people are already playing it right now and it’s common knowledge. So let’s focus more on the 2nd and 3rd points:
Emblem ‘Holders’ & ‘Users’
Holders = Units who hold an emblem more out of necessity (ie. Cannonneer Braum/Kench)
Users = Usually the carry where the emblem is very welcome (ie. Sin Olaf)
I categorized the unit into groups based on their similarities and what functionalities of the trait they utilized. I am only showing the merits of the emblem on the unit in a vacuum for the most part. Keep in mind I started this project almost a month ago and a lot of things have entered and left the meta.
Every Swiftshot unit makes great use of the emblem except Ezreal due the design of the units and the existence of Xayah who already shares both traits. All of them are ‘Auto-based’ units who’s main source of DPS comes from their autos or are ‘Support’ units who don’t need to cast as often. They are also back line units who are rarely affected by the ‘no mana from damage taken’ clause. These are all mostly holders.
Both AS and omnivamp are both great on him he can provide great utility in a Xayah comp. Being a Tier 3 DPS unit he can easily become the 2nd or 3rd carry.
Largely unaffected by the downsides and he gets his first cast 1 auto earlier which is valuable as he shreds armor.
Same reasons as the two above. These units are all trait bots that make great use of the effect and/or don’t mind the downsides that come along with it.
When people ask who the Ragewing emblem is good on most people bring up Olaf. The item feels like it was made for Olaf who really needs two things: Attack Speed and Healing. This is a 2-1 deal that gives him an pseudo RFC and Bloodthirster in one with 3 Ragewings.
He also does not care about the ‘enrage’ penalty as he gets manalocked for longer than 6 seconds and the +5 mana let’s him cast earlier. He also has great synergistic traits with Ragewings, sharing the twin traits with Shen who always a unit you want to have when playing a melee carry.
So why does something that was seemingly made for Olaf feel very underwhelming to play? Theoretically it sounds amazing but in practice the emblem does not do enough to enable Olaf. It’s not better than any other item you would normally give it such as an actual Bloodthirster.
If you were curious, the core of the comp played in PBE looked like this:
A 4 Warrior Variation that might be better after the numerous buffs:
Skarner is an underrated early-game item holder who makes perfect use out of the emblem with his shield, AS steroid, manalock and healing.
A noteworthy fact about ragewing Elise is that she will re-cast upon a kill regardless off the ‘enrage’ debuff. It essentially becomes an omnivamp item that gives her attack speed and resets by the time she drops down giving her the best of both worlds.
Fun to know, useless in practise from my 2 experiences. The board is just too weak when you try to fit in Shapeshifters, Ragewings and Whispers even with the existence of Swain.
The fact that Kayne exists is great in terms of fitting Ragewing units with Assassins units until you realize that you need to play Kayne on your board. A lot of Assassins still make great use out of the emblem with or without Kayne.
Treat it like a healing item as most times the ‘enrage’ wears off before he gets more than 1 or 2 autos off due to his lengthy cast. The +5 mana per auto and synergy helps as well.
He’s a decent emblem holder in the Guild Xayah comp where you just play 4/3 ragewings and call it a day. Personally I really like it in the Shimmerscale variation.
You just want him to get his first cast off earlier which he 2 autos earlier with the emblem. You can slot in 2 other ragewings if you need the omnivamp. Pyke is a pretty buggy unit at the moment and I’m sure players have noticed him re-casting over and over again for seemingly no reason. There are reasons for this I won’t get into but units will not re-trigger ‘enrage’ if they happen to cast again while ‘enraged’. This means that he can cast multiple times and not be mana-locked when he comes out allowing him to cast again in 4 autos.
I think this one is pretty underrated and I know the biggest argument I am going to get is about how much stray damage Pyke usually takes but most of the time he is taking damage is during his leaps where he is manalocked regardless.
This section holds the some interesting and useful knowledge in terms of emblem holder’s. We take a look at units who only care about the +5 mana we get from the emblem. These obviously get less worthwhile depending on the lobby and stage of the game (amount of stray damage & backline access)
u/Renegade_BH brought this one up early into PBE
Soraka largely bypasses the 4 second mana penalty as her cast time last for an entire 2 seconds. The +5 mana per auto more than makes up for the 2 seconds.
Soraka also has a multiplicative effect on her mana gain as she often receives AS from Jade and ‘mana per hit’ from other sources. She gets +15 mana from her passive and +5 mana from the Ragewing emblem meaning she gets 30 mana per auto, potentially filling out her 200 manapool with 7 autos. This scales off her AS which is often very high.
With his inherent Guild buff along with an Ragewing emblem he receives 19 mana per auto. His ability is also something you really want to get out as soon as possible due to it’s powerful impact. Similarly to Soraka he has a inherent manalock of 2.5 seconds diminishing the ‘enraged’ mana penalty.
A lot of speculation has gone into how well Daeja performs with this emblem -or at least it’s definitely one of the most common units that are brought up when talking about Ragewing emblem holders. On paper it sounds feasible if not great; she likes getting her cast up quickly, is a back line unit, definitely benefits off the attack speed and the omnivamp doesn’t hurt at all. In practise though it falls apart rather quickly.
To put it plainly, it’s not good but it was overall decent during PBE (pre-rework). The issue is that due to her very long casting animation she barely gets to utilize the extra attack speed when ‘enraged’. One of the few units that actually want to use the ‘enrage’ as a benefit meaning that you want to stack to at least 6 ragewings to get the most value out of it. 3 is easy to fit but fitting 6 means at least 3 bad units and going to 9 is impossible without Dragon Horde/Alliance. It’s probably decent with the augment ‘Scorch’ but what isn’t good with ‘Scorch’?
Ragewing Ao Shin is actually really good but it’s rare that you end up in such a situation. The most common line is when playing Swain Reroll. As most players know Swain is a top 4-6 comp that either relies on hitting Swain 3* or Shyvanna for a higher placement. You fast 8 with a 2* Swain and rolldown for one of you outs which includes an easy Ao Shin pivot with the emblem. You can still pivot to Ao Shin without an emblem but it is a lot more feasible with one
Combine the +5 mana, omnivamp and the fact that Ao Shin’s cast time is 3-4 seconds long and you have a very solid item on your 10-cost carry. Not to mention the secret dark ‘Tantrum’ tech that leads to one of the highest capped boards you can have.
The tantrum interaction is one of the strongest combinations in the game allowing Ao Shin to instantly cast faster, heal and cast twice without any nerf to his AP like he would with a Mage emblem. A 1* tantrum can easily out-damage a regular 2* Ao Shin allowing you to be stable for a lot longer until you level it up.
Using ‘Tantrum Ao Shin’ as a segue I want to very briefly talk about the Ragewing-centric augments:
Every 5th instance of Ragewing champion’s damage deals 33% more damage and is converted to true damage. Gain a Kayn.
After casting their first Ability, Ragewings restore 100% of their maximum Rage. Gain a Kayn.
Tantrum just means that Ragewing units cast again after their first cast [First Cast -> Enrage for 4 seconds -> Free Cast].
Scorch just means every 5th instance of damage does more damage and ignores any resistances. Sort of like a Nunu bite.
These augments are quite honestly some of the most powerful buffs to a point where it’s worth it in many scenarios to put a ragewing emblem on a unit just to take advantage of the effect. Definitely keep this mind as a possible option.
In conclusion: When given a Ragewing emblem your either down a gold augment or 2 item components. The best and easiest way to actually get value out of it is to play Sett Reroll or Swain Reroll which allows you to play stronger boards a level earlier (ex. 3/3/3 Ragewings, DM, Jade at level 5 for Sett / 6 DM & 3 Ragewing at level 7)
You can also play a 6 Ragewing board like this where you need an emblem to play or it’s not really worth it, but that board isn’t really a ‘stronger’ option but more of a option that just opens up. There are tons of variations of a board like this, none of them reeaally justifying the power of a gold augment/item.
BUT sometimes those aren’t options and sometimes, because you took such a bad augment you’re hard capped to take a 4th/5th place at most. That’s having knowledge of these rare and niche outs can be super valuable in those unusual situations, such as Tantrum Ao Shin and some others I want to talk about it in Part 2: